Letters from the past

We received the following letter recently from Teresa Lee.

The letter was written by her father in 1961, and details his walk along Glenbower to Mt. Uniake.

Interestingly, Teresa’s great grandfather was named James Lee, and served as Mayor of Ypres for a period during World War I.

Hope you enjoy it!


Sunday 20th August 1961.

” Dear Margaret,

Our ramble yesterday to Glenbower Wood was a lovely day and father would have been delighted to know we were all there in his old childhood haunts. Bus from Youghal to Killeagh where Maureen (my Mum) bought some lovely Abernethy’s bread, fresh ham, tomatoes and we brought tea in the picnic flasks. Took the road through the Glenbower demesne with it’s old araucarias and beeches and fine blackberry bushes. After the metal bridge, we took the upper path to a cottage at the cross tracks known in the last century as Lee’s cross for it was Grandfather’s first house in the Glenbower estate.

Thence by a woodland path through larches with here and there eucalyptus growing, the leaves now turning red, to the gate where the Ballinlough townland begins.  We had a picnic on the side of the hill above the River Dangan which flows between the hills on one side of the valley, the deserted Uniacke big house – Castletown, on the far side and a dense thicket on this side through which we had to make our way up into a cornfield round which we walked until I recognized the grass growing from the chimneys of a ruined deserted stone house – the house where 90 years ago next January, father was born.  

It looks a sad sight – sadder than my first visit thirty years ago in 1931 when a family called Colbert lived in it (five children) all gone now to America. It was strange to see the house standing in corn as this field was pasture when I last saw it.  Thence on to the road where we took a snap of the thatched cottage painted red which father used to call “Quirkes” and then I showed them the road round to Mt Uniacke where the post office has the old name Coolagarra over it (also written in gaelic).

Here, Kieran and Declan had soft drinks and they played in the corner of the fireplace with the bellows wheel and they sent the sparks flying upward. We crossed to one of the thatched public houses where I had a shandy and they had more bellows practice to the delight of the Mt Uniackians.”

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